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hend, that what has been now faid, must Serm. have excited in you thanksgivings to God for VIII. the advantage you have had of a religious education : and that
your resolutions, to emprove it. And it is indeed prudent, to be very serious and deliberate in resolving to walk with God, and persevere in the way of his commandments all the days of our life. You should continue in the use of all the means of
establishment: and should carefully decline the snares, that are dangerous to your virtue. If unawares you meet with them, and finners entice you to evil; resolutly withhold
your consent, and withstand their enticements and folicitations.
You need not to be told, that children of such parents, of so many prayers, of such hopes and expectations, cannot fin at so easie a rate, as others. In every step you should take, in the way of folly and fin, you would meet with checks and rebukes. And if
you should break through, and harden yourselves against all the remonstrances of
your enlightened conscience and understanding, the issue would be unutterable remorse and anguish.
SERM. But this, I trust, shall not be your case.
Your goodnesse, I hope, shall not be like a
light, that shineth more and more unto the per-
May you then, willingly admit and enter-
in the way of God's commandments on earth, may you, and yours, partake with all the people of God in the full rewards, and everlasting joys, of religion and virtue, which are sure, and are reserved for the world to come.
The Virtue and Benefit of early
Piety, or fearing the Lord from the
I KINGS xviii. 1 2.
ö.. But I thy servant fear the Lord
from my youth.
HOUGH this good character
be here given by the person T
himself, we are not immediatly
to admit the suspicion of pride and vanity. What he says is only for the fake of self-preservation. If we never commend ourselves for a less weighty reason, we
Serm. fall not incur the just censure of boasting
and vain glorie.
The person is Obadiah, whose historie wę have in the former part of this chapter. He is now speaking to the Prophet Elijah. And the thing happened in the time of the long dearth in the reign of Ahab King of Israel.
At the begining of the chapter it is faid : And it came to pass after many days, that the word of the Lord came to Elijah, in the third year, saying : Go, jewe thy self unto Abab, and I will send rain upon the earth. And Elijah went to sew bimself unto Abab. And there was a fore famine in Samaria. And Abab called Obadiah, which was the Governour of his house.
Some have put the question, whether this be the same as Obadiah the Prophet. But it does not appear, that this person had at all the prophetical character. And Obadiah, whose short book of prophecies we have among the lefser Prophets, near the end of the Old Testament, seems to have lived a good deal later than the reign of Ahab.
It follows in ver. 3. and 4. Now Obadiah feared the Lord greatly. For it was so, when Jesebel cut off the Prophets of the Lord, that
Obadiah took an hundred Prophets, and bid Serm. them by fifty in a cave, and
IX. them bread
gave and water.
By Prophets, as is generally supposed, we are not here to understand inspired persons, with a special commission from God: but men educated in the schools of the Prophets. These Jesebel looked upon as her enemies, because they opposed her idolatrous worship, and taught the people the true religion. And, possibly, she suspected them of favoring the interests of the kingdom of Judah, where was the appointed place of worship for all the tribes of Israel.
It was therefore an act of great piety, and much resolution, in Obadiah, in a time of such danger, to protect those Prophets. He bid them by fifty in a cave, and gave them bread and water : that is, all needful provisifions, sending them meat and drink privatly every day.
6. And Abab said unto Obadiah: Go into the land, unto all fountains of water, and unto all brooks.
Peradventure we may find grasse to save the horses and mules alive, that we lose not all the beasts. So they divided the land between them, to pass through